Northern Ireland

William King: Coleraine councillor worked for all

Former Coleraine and Causeway Coast and Glens councillor William King
Former Coleraine and Causeway Coast and Glens councillor William King

William King was an Ulster Unionist councillor in Coleraine for many years, but he would never have regarded himself as a politician.

His intention always in public and private life was to work for the benefit of all in the community, encouraging positive relations and mutual cooperation.

He served as mayor on the former Coleraine Borough Council in 2006/07 and spent four years on the new Causeway Coast and Glens council before his retirement in 2018.

Colleagues from across the political spectrum have paid tribute to his dedicated service and tireless work, as well as the humour he brought to any gathering.

Sinn Féin councillor Brenda Chivers described how he always attended receptions in support of her when she was mayor, something not all councillors would have done.

UUP council group leader Darryl Wilson said: “William was a hard working man, a great councillor, an even better man for the ploughing, but above all this a dedicated family man.”

William was born in Ringsend near Garvagh but the family moved when he was 11 to a farm at Ballyvennox near Macosquin, where he would remain the rest of his life.

He developed a love of farming from an early age and was involved in all aspects of farm life, milking cows for more than 40 years and growing grain and potatoes.

An interest in ploughing would also bring him to competitions around the world, from Zimbabwe to Canada, as a competitor, judge and coach.

He loved the competitive element as well as the variety of people he met – he was president of the Northern Ireland Ploughing Association and hosted people from many countries over the years. He was awarded an MBE for services to ploughing in 2002.

He also visited Malawi on four occasions in support of community projects in the Zomba area, where Coleraine council had built strong links. Following his death, donations in lieu of flowers went to the Zomba Action Project.

William had a wide interest in sports, playing badminton in his younger years and closely following the fortunes of Coleraine FC.

He also offered his service for many years to the annual Super Cup hosted in the area, supporting teams from as far away as Japan.

After stepping down from the council he took up bowls at Castlerock Bowling Club and enjoyed tending to his garden and greenhouse and spending time with his grandchildren. 

A devoted family man, William was married for 55 years to Daphne, a teacher, who supported and encouraged him in all his endeavours, and they were blessed with three children.

William Alexander King died aged 81 on June 6.

He is survived and sadly missed by Daphne, their children Alison, Lesley Anne and Graeme, grandchildren Annabel, Jessica, Adam, Scott, Emma and Thom and family circle.